Photos: More Mustang muscle for 2011
The 2011 Ford Mustang has a 305-horsepower V-6 engine to rival the 2010 Mustang GT's 315-hp V-8. (The 2011 GT moves into an entirely different class with a 412-hp V-8.) Cars.com editor Joe Wiesenfelder notes that gas mileage is also up across the board, including an amazing EPA-estimated 31 mpg highway for the V-6 automatic. Read his complete review.
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V-6 Performance Package
After driving multiple engine, transmission and body style combinations at the 2011 model's national introduction, I walked away plenty impressed overall, but what truly stuck out was the V-6 with the optional Performance Package, which will be offered late this summer. It adds a 3.31 rear axle ratio in place of the standard 2.73, along with the suspension and brakes from the V-8-powered GT and 19-inch wheels shod with Pirelli P Zero summer tires. This car is a blast.
More than ever, engines are proving that size isn't everything. The 305-hp, all-aluminum V-6 is a 3.7-liter, lower in size and weight than the previous generation's 210-hp, iron-block 4.0-liter. Ford engineers say numerous technologies came together to boost both power and efficiency in the new engines, but it's the dual independent variable valve timing that makes the biggest difference, improving torque at low rpm and efficiency across the board.
Many manufacturers are turning to direct fuel injection to achieve similar goals, and Ford uses it in EcoBoost turbocharged applications, but Mustang engineers said the prospect of direct-injecting these engines didn't pass the cost-benefit test. Its absence means one very important thing: They can add it later and get even more out of these power plants. Both engines now have four valves per cylinder where the old V-6 had two and the V-8 three.